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Arctic Daily Update: February 22, 2016


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February 22, 2016  
Dave Benton David Benton named to second term on US Arctic Research Commission.
President Obama reappointed David Benton to a second 4-year term as Commissioner on the USARC. As a marine resource consultant, Benton has been an instrumental member of the Commission advising on national and international oceans governance issues, specifically as they relate to arctic research and policy. Originally appointed in June, 2012, Benton has served as Executive Director of the Marine Conservation Alliance. From 2000 to 2003, he was Chair of the North Pacific Management Council, an organization he continues to support today as a member of the Arctic Working Group. He has held a number of positions in the State of Alaska government from 1987 to 2000, including Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1994 to 2000. President Clinton appointed him US Commissioner on the U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Commission in 1995. Benton received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He volunteers as President of the Alaska Lighthouse Association and is involved in restoring Point Retreat Lighthouse on Admiralty Island.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are not in session.
Narwhale There Will be Exactly as Many Narwhals as Unicorns if Killer Whales Keep at it. The Arctic is warming up and killer whales are moving in. That's bad news for the current tenants, notably the narwhal and the beluga. Up until a few decades ago, orca sightings in Canada's Far North were pretty rare. But reports have doubled every 20 years for most of the 20th century and skyrocketed since 2000. The whales are also moving deeper and deeper into the Eastern Arctic, from the Hudson Strait and Foxe Basin, into Hudson Bay. They're preying on mammals at a speed that has biologists, not to mention whale watch operators, very nervous. Inverse
Alaska Congressional Delegation Wary of Funding for Climate Change-Impact Proposals. President Obama took a step last week toward delivering on some of the promises he made in September during his historic trip to Alaska. "I want you to know (that) as your president, I'm here to give you the support that you need," the president told a crowd at a stopover in Kotzebue. KUAC
beluga Mackenzie Delta Beluga Research Shows Preference for Less Ice. Aerial surveys show that the presence of less ice at the mouth of the Mackenzie River seems to attract more beluga whales. These and other findings will be presented this week at the Inuvik Beluga Summit, which brings together Inuvialuit harvesters and scientific experts from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada and other research institutions. CBC News
Arctic Ocean Response to Fresh Water is Different. For long time freshwater has been seen as one potential cause for rapid climate change in the North Atlantic - Arctic region - probably most people have heard about the 'Gulf Stream is slowing down' scenarios with freshwater leading to sluggish currents and less heat being transported to northern high latitudes. In our two recent studies we were able to show that while such a scenario is plausible in the North Atlantic, the ocean response in the Arctic is quite the opposite. Reporting Climate Science
DNV GL Approved First Vessel to Comply With IMO Polar Code. After a successful survey, DNV GL and the Danish Maritime Authority have confirmed that the AHTS Magne Viking, owned by Viking Supply Ships, is in compliance with the new IMO Polar Code. "Having followed the development of the Polar Code for some years, it is a great achievement to finally survey the first vessel to comply with the Code," said Morten Mejlænder-Larsen, who is responsible for Arctic and Polar activities at DNV GL - Maritime. Offshore Shipping Online
Sami Reindeer Herders Battle Conservationists and Miners to Cling on to Arctic Culture. When Europe's indigenous Arctic people want to find their reindeer in a snowstorm and temperatures of -30C, they turn to their £10,000 snowmobiles and an app that is also used by British sheep farmers. In seconds, the satellite tracking device linked to their phone tells them if the animals are on a frozen lake, up a mountain or, in the worst case, have fallen prey to wolves or lynx. So far, so simple, thanks to new technology. But when the Sami people of northern Norway want to complain about traditional grazing land being taken by the government, or the mining industry dumping waste in their pristine fjords, communication, they say, is not so easy. The Guardian
Obama Reappoints Juneau Man to Arctic Research Commission. President Barack Obama has reappointed a Juneau man to serve on the Arctic Research Commission. David Benton, a marine research consultant, says he is pleased to be reappointed. He says he will continue working to find ways to expand international cooperation on research in the Arctic. Benton has been on the commission for the last four years where he worked with federal scientists in Russia and the U.S. to develop a cooperative research effort in the Chukchi Sea. KTUU
caribou Deline, NWT Hunters Agree to End Caribou Hunt for the Season. Hunters in Deline, N.W.T., are being asked not to hunt any more Bluenose East caribou this season, now that the community's self-imposed limit of 150 animals has been harvested. In a news release issued Tuesday, the Deline First Nation, the Deline Land Corporation, and the Renewable Resources Council said hunters had agreed to end the hunt for the season. CBC News
Food Insecurity, Hunger in Arctic Due to Melting North. There are people in Canada who are facing food insecurity and real hunger due to climate change.  On February 18-23, 2016, the remote, fly-in Nunavut community of Igloolik is hosting Kiss the Earth, a national event, to raise awareness and funds for families and people being left hungry due to food insecurity caused by polar ice melt due to global warming. Sponsored by the Igloolik Co-op and benefitting Friends of North, this inaugural event will highlight how climate change is tangibly affecting the Arctic environment, and the ability for remote Inuit communities to adequately feed themselves. Inuit Elders, dignitaries and celebrities will be in attendance - and Canadians are invited! The weekend event will feature a tundra clean up, incredible musical performances by stars such as Kelly Fraser and the first "Green carpet" screening of Theo and Chloe (2015, Spotlight Pictures), starring Igloolik Elder Mr. Theo Ikummaq, Dakota Johnson and Mira Sorvino, and produced by Sir Richard Branson. Canada Newswire
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.
Future Events
IARPC Webinar Series: The Arctic Digital Elevation Model Project, February 24, 2016 (Webinar). The ArcticDEM project will produce the first very high resolution, publicly available digital surface model of the entire Arctic region above 60 degrees North including all of Alaska, Greenland and Kamchatka. The result of a partnership between the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and a group lead by the US National Science Foundation funded Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota, the project converges civilian, high-quality sub-meter stereo imagery, petascale computing, and open source photogrammetry software.  In addition, the USGS is collecting Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (ifsar) over Alaska as part of the 3D Elevation Program.  This webinar will provide information on the collaboration, the timeline, and the expected ArcticDEM products, as well as the data characteristics, acquisition status, and plans for summer 2016 ifsar acquisition. 
43rd Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, March 2-6, 2016 (Sitka, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Anthropological Association will be holding its 43rd Annual Meeting in Sitka, Alaska. This year it is being organized by archaeologists and anthropologists of the National Park Service - Alaska Region.
5th Annual Fletcher Opening Arctic Conference, March 12, 2016. The Opening Arctic Conference builds on the Fletcher School's Warming Arctic International Inquiry series, to bring together high-level thought leaders from across disciplines, Fletcher's hallmark. Staged annually, Fletcher's event continues to address the foreign policy, economic, environmental and security implications of the opening Arctic, while dispelling myths.
Arctic Science Summit Week Arctic Observing Summit, March 12-18, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK, USA). ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations that support and facilitate long-term planning in Arctic research. In 2016, ASSW will be held in conjunction with AOS, which brings people together to facilitate the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems.
15th Annual Arctic Health Science Seminar, April 1, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The American Society for Circumpolar Health will host the 15th Annual Arctic Health Science Seminar in Anchorage, Alaska. This event will include the annual meeting of the American Society for Circumpolar Health, the Robert Fortuine Memorial lecture, and the Albrecht Milan Foundation will provide the Albrecht-Milan Emerging Professional Award to one of the Arctic Health Science Seminar presenters. The call for abstracts is open through Monday February 29, 2016.
** New this week** The American Arctic: The United States as an Arctic Power in Science, Technology and Security, April 4, 2016 (San Francisco, CA, USA). The Association of American Geographers will host a panel discussion on the American Arctic. In 2015 the United States assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In recent years, the Federal government began to pay closer attention to the Arctic owing to dramatic environmental and social changes and growing economic interest in the region's vast resources. President Obama became the first sitting US President to visit the Arctic this August. US Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer is expected to be a panelist.
Alaska Rural Energy Conference, April 26-28, 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Rural Energy Conference is a three day event offering a large variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects in Alaska, as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska's remote communities. Building on the growing success, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power have joined forces again to organize and sponsor the 10th annual Alaska Rural Energy Conference.   

14th IATS Seminar, June 19-25, 2016 (Bergen, Norway). The University of Bergen (UiB) is honored to host the 14th IATS Seminar in Bergen, Norway, from Sunday 19 to Saturday 25 June 2016 in co-operation with the Network for University Co-operation Tibet-Norway, an academic network with the universities of Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø as partners. The convenor is Professor Hanna Havnevik, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, and Chair of the Network.
11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2016), June 20-24, 2016 (Potsdam, Germany). The Alfred Wegener Institute has teamed up with UP Transfer GmbH and the University of Potsdam to organize a great conference for you, permafrost researchers. The conference aims at covering all relevant aspects of permafrost research, engineering and outreach on a global and regional level.

Inuit traditions are a repository of Inuit culture and a primary expression of Inuit identity. The theme for the 2016 Inuit Studies Conference invites Elders, knowledge-bearers, researchers, artists, policy-makers, students and others to engage in conversations about the many ways in which traditions shape understanding, while registering social and cultural change. The institutional hosts of "Inuit Traditions," Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Nunatsiavut Government, invite you to contribute to an exchange of knowledge to be held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, October 7-10, 2016. Presentations on all aspects of Inuit studies will be welcome.



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